Thursday, April 25, 2019

Expected Perfection

How much latitude do you have in your job to make mistakes? Seriously, do you feel nervous or anxious about it (beyond the normal frustration of overlooking something or making a small error)? 

Are you supposed to be superhuman at work and never make a mistake?

Fail Quickly! Ha!
Okay...let's just stop right here for a minute. Quick show of hands, how many of you get excited about failing really quickly with your new ideas in front of your leaders and employees?

Anyone? Hello?

Right. Neither do I.

Sure, I get the whole "go for it approach." I've spent years trying new things. 

However, I've been able to lead that way because I worked in this organization and now work here and both places afforded me lots of flexibility to be creative, succeed, and yes, sometimes fail without repercussions. 

It's that last part - without repercussions - that often stands in the way of failing quickly as a good thing.

Never Fail
When the world thinks you're supposed to be perfect...every time...how do you survive? 

How do you dare to push and twist and turn and risk and gamble on new ideas to stay competitive and relevant if you're going to be punished if you fail?

Three steps is what it takes.
1. Use language that aligns to your business, not human resources. Demonstrate why your idea adds value to the business, not some lame HR jargon filled spiel.

2. Know what you're talking about. Don't throw around terms and strategies you don't fully understand. Be confident.

3. Act with conviction and do it. Don't be timid or scared.  Behave as if the other skeptics in the room are out of touch, not you. Take the risk. Don't worry if you're alone. That's how this works.

How About You
Don't you think it's time you pushed that idea forward that you've had rolling around in your head for so long? I do too. Get your plan together and go for it. If you want a sounding board, call me at 727.809.4425 and we'll talk through it.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

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Friday, April 19, 2019

Faith, Values and HR

Wait, what?

I know what you are thinking. We can not talk about our faith in the workplace! That's crazy talk! We are going to get complaints, the employees will be in an uproar, and we might even get sued!

Um, let's just slow down here for a minute.

Leave Your Personal Life at the Door
Have you ever heard this phrase? Have you ever said it to an employee? When was the last time you walked into work and shut off every single part of your life outside of work?

I know the answer. Never, that's when.

Regardless of your faith perspective (if you have one) this seems like one of the most absurd (and candidly embarrassing) management messages to send..."leave your personal life at the door."

Our lives are not broken into convenient little pieces.
There is no work/life balance.
There is only life balance, and our faith is
a big part of that journey.

Live the Values
If we pause for a moment to consider what most of our corporate values say (and let's be honest, most are very similar) they focus on treating people well, doing good work, living with integrity, etc.

Hmmm, those sound curiously similar to the core tenets of most world religions. 

So, as we ask our employees, our leaders, and ourselves to 'live the values' of our organizations in everything we do; are we also asking everyone to shut off their faith that implores us to 'live that faith in all we do' at the same time?

I'm no longer buying that premise. How does one pray each day, participate in the life of their faith community, and then walk into work and turn their back on all of that because "it's just business?"

That simply does not make any sense.



How About You
Will I now be preaching the gospel during team meetings? Of course not. 

But will I pretend that I don't have faith, or act as if I'm such a "good man of business" that faith and values don't really matter? Absolutely not.

What is your take? I know this is a complicated and important issue.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

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Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Role Models

I think about influential people a lot. Not the flash-in-the-pan 'Youtube sensations' mind you, I'm talking about actual role models. Real people who've done incredible things with their lives. 

Who Are These People
It strikes me as somewhat counterintuitive that many of the most famous role models (at least to me) are ordinary people, who felt called to take risks, stand up for what they believed in, and in some cases, put their lives at risk.

Normal people like you and me, who somehow transformed their lives into something so impactful...it can be difficult for us to wrap our heads around their accomplishments.

Here are a couple of mine...

Dietrich Bonhoeffer - a German theologian and pastor whose incredible conviction, sense of purpose, and strong faith led him to oppose Hitler, and ultimately, be executed by the Nazis in the last week of the war.



This is a fabulous book about Dietrich that my Mother gave me several years ago. Check it out and be inspired.

My Parents
This may sound like an obligatory mention, but I can assure you it is not the case. I am blessed to have parents who never stopped raising their voices when injustice was being done in their community or world; and also instilled values in my sister and me that all people matter.

Yes, all people. Regardless of their faith perspective, color, sexual orientation, or station in life. Their values, that spilled over to us, were clearly behind this post from last year.


Their tireless work throughout their respective professional careers (and now Mom's retirement) dealing with race relations, poverty, women's rights, and support for oppressed people continues to be both humbling and inspiring.

How About You
Who is on your short list? Who are the people that shaped your life and helped make you who you are today? I have more on mine...but as always...

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.
Bonhoeffer pic

Monday, April 1, 2019

Visions In My Head

We all see the world in one way...our way. We convince ourselves we're seeing it the right way too.

Oh sure, we also claim to be open-minded, and willing to walk in other people's shoes too. Hahahaha...sure we do.

Lens? What Lens?
Here's my dilemma...despite my powerful self-talk machine that "tells me" I'm open-minded, I find myself wondering if that is actually true. 

Or, at least, true enough.

Think about that for a second. You've spent your entire career in HR proclaiming to be open-minded, and as it turns out you're just like everyone else. 

Your lens is firmly strapped on, and that is the way you see the world.

Time for the Humble Pie Buffet
How exactly does one figure out if their world view is much more limited than they previously believed? How much courage does it take to ask and find out?

Whoa! Not sure I'm ready for that.


But if I'm going to be effective, I need to be a lot more open to feedback from those that I trust. (see this post about your Personal Board of Directors to learn more.) 

What might we learn if we ask those closest to us for their honest take on who we are? Are we ready for that feedback? More importantly, are we prepared to make the changes necessary to align our talk and our actions?

Heavy stuff.

How About You
When was the last time you took a step back and critically evaluated your 'open mind?' 

Is that too scary; or, could it be a moment that leads you to new ways of thinking, working, and leading?

I'd love to hear from you.


No Excuses.

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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Side Step Leadership

"I'm happy to do whatever you want me to do."

"Oh, I'm ready to jump in at anytime, just tell me what you need."

"I fully support this move, what would you like me to do?"  

Talk is Cheap
We've all heard these comments...often times from leaders in our organizations. Perhaps we've even said them ourselves. 

They appear to be well-intended expressions of support, right? Real team-players stepping up to help...right?

Not so fast.

Let's take a moment and think about the people in our companies that take action first versus offering to do "whatever." That feels different. 

Their impact is very different.

They make things happen. 
They not only connect with us on what needs to be done, but they actually take steps to get things done.

It's Always Action That Wins
Maybe I've become cynical? 

Maybe I've heard too many expressions of support to my face, only to learn that same 'support' is non-existent when it comes down to making decisions and taking a risk?

Or, maybe I have a new level of insight about people? 

They love being seen as helpful and popular, but are rarely strong enough to tackle big issues that involve risk.

Yes. I believe that is true.

How About You
Are you someone who not only offers support, but immediately jumps into the fire to get things done? Or, are you much more comfortable offering support all day long, and then heading home feeling good about yourself and your "support?"

I'd love to hear from you.


No Excuses.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

I Don't Have Time for Social Media & Other Excuses

I am blessed to work with great clients across the country...and for that matter I've been blessed to work with fantastic leaders for decades. 

One of the more interesting (and humorous) things I've heard while consulting, training and designing strategies over the years is the odd list of excuses as to why those same leaders are unwilling to jump into the 21st century.

Here are some of my favorites.

...I don't have time for that

...digital work isn't real work

...social media doesn't impact anything important

...we have a business to run here

But then, sometimes leaders open up and share what they really mean.

...I'm embarrassed that I haven't kept up and I don't want to look foolish

...I know social media is critically important for my personal brand our employer brand but I don't know where to start

...I'm in! Help me learn so I can teach my team

How About You
What excuses do you hear in your organization (or, perhaps say yourself?) It's time to leave those behind and move your leadership game forward. I'll help you!

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Physicians Need a Personal Brand Too

A lot of time and energy is spent discussing the need for leaders, professionals, and just about everyone who is interested in advancing their careers to develop a robust personal brand.

Make fun all you want...personal brands matter in the modern world of work.

Physicians Are Actually Small Businesses
The need for us as leaders to grow our brands is critical as we navigate the relatively new and fast-paced digital world that dominates life. 

But what about physicians? Aren't they 'automatically' immune from such a need? Aren't they special simply because society needs them, and therefore by default, they already have the value the rest of us are striving to achieve?

Not.
Even.
Close.

Building a Practice = Building a Business
Some physicians are fortunate, in that they are hired into a group practice, or a health system with a built-in pipeline of patients waiting to be seen (and billed!) 

However, the competitive landscape to attract doctors, the constantly evolving models of care delivery, and the flood of younger physicians who are interested in stepping away from traditional academic medicine have turned the provider side of healthcare on it's head.

For example...several years ago one of my hospital's new Residents announced his 'match' to us on his Youtube channel. The world has changed!

Yet, how does a young, or not so young physician, build a new practice, expand an existing practice into a new market, or relocate to an area that is completely foreign to them?

How do they generate the patient volume to ensure the practice is viable; oh, and also earn a living?

Patients do not automatically arrive at the doctor's doorstep, particularly in a world of non-compete agreements, closed medical staff models, and restricted access to admitting and treating patients.

Brand, Brand, Brand
This is where the savvy physician embraces the exact same concepts you and I have used for years to develop our brands. It's not difficult, it simply requires focus and attention.

- establishing a social media presence across a few of the major platforms

- sharing meaningful content: professional, personal, thought leadership

- blogging (not giving medical advice, simply talking about health, wellness, their specialty or sub-specialty, etc..)

- engaging with followers (again, not giving medical advice, rather, humanizing themselves vs. a sterile white-coated old school presence)

How About You
Getting started is not nearly as difficult for our physician colleagues as they might think. We need to take the time with them to not only educate, but to provide real-world, and real-time support from our own experiences to show them the way.

What do you think?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

pic is from this great article